Boston 91, Miami 102: Series over? Dwyane Wade scored 18 of his 28 during a dominant first half, and when Boston made a run in the third quarter, LeBron went off – 24 of his 35 came in the 2nd half – and the Heat recorded their second surprisingly-easy victory of the reeling Celtics. The game was tied at 80 early in the fourth quarter before the Heat peeled off 14 points in a row. It looks bleak for Boston.
The Heat look like sleek sports cars out there in the open floor, racing for layups and dunks; the Celtics can’t seem to push tempo even when Rondo wants to, and their halfcourt offense is clunky against an underrated Miami defense. Everyone’s saying the Heat are tougher, and surely that will eventually turn the discussion to the lack of Shaq or Kendrick Perkins inside. Pierce, Rondo and Allen are all banged up, but they’ve got three days before game three. I’m not sure if it’ll matter even if they are 100%. Dan Shaughnessy is ready to pass the torch from Boston to Miami in the East.
Memphis 102, Oklahoma City 111: The Thunder bench got the memo and was fantastic in game 2, led by James Harden’s 21 points, a season-high 15 points from Eric Maynor, and 7 points, 7 rebounds and terrific defense from Nick Collison.
The Thunder played significantly better defense against Zach Randolph (2-for-13) and Marc Gasol (3-for-9), who combined for 54 points Sunday, but scored just 28 last night. Much of the credit goes to Perkins (on Gasol) and Collison (on Randolph). Russell Westbrook played under control (24 points, three steals and only four turnovers), and even though Mike Conley had another strong game for the Grizzlies, (24 points, eight assists), the Thunder offense was much smoother (52 percent shooting) than the game one debacle.
For the moment, it doesn’t look like the Grizzlies will waltz into the Western Conference Finals (whew). I smell a 40+ point game from Durant in game three to steal back homecourt advantage.